“Frank and quirky. . . A layered, utterly readable novel.” —Kirkus Reviews

Kate McGovern is the author of Rules for 50/50 Chances and Fear of Missing Out, both out now from Farrar Straus & Giroux. Sometimes she also writes other stuff, like essays about teaching, relationships, trains, and her grandmother. The New York Times once called a play she wrote “a quirky, personable little one act with a warm heart,” which made her day. Her latest novel, Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen, was published in October 2021.

Over the years, she’s taught theatre in New York, supported new English speakers and students with learning disabilities in London, showed apartments for a real estate broker, temped in an advertising firm, and sold off-Broadway theatre tickets in a tiny un-air-conditioned box during a sweltering summer—among other things. After some years in Manhattan, Queens, London, and an English country village, she moved home to Cambridge, MA, where she was born and raised. She lives with her husband, Neheet, and their two daughters.

Kate 's Featured Titles

Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen

Candlewick |
Middle Grade
Maple is in fifth grade—again. Now everyone will find out she struggles with reading—or will they? An engaging read for anyone who has ever felt different.

Maple Mehta-Cohen has been keeping a secret: she can’t read all that well. She has an impressive vocabulary and loves dictating stories into her recorder—especially the adventures of a daring sleuth who’s half Indian and half Jewish like Maple herself—but words on the page just don’t seem to make sense to her. Despite all Maple’s clever tricks to hide her troubles with reading, her teacher is on to her, and now Maple has to repeat fifth grade. Maple is devastated—what will her friends think? Will they forget about her? She uses her storytelling skills to convince her classmates that she’s staying back as a special teacher’s assistant (because of budget cuts, you know). But as Maple navigates the loss of old friendships, the possibility of new ones, and facing her reading challenges head-on, her deception becomes harder to keep up. Can Maple begin to recognize her own strengths, and to love herself—and her brain—just the way she is? Readers who have faced their own trials with school and friendships will enjoy this heartwarming story and its bright, creative heroine.

Fear of Missing Out

Square Fish |
Young Adult

A young adult novel from Kate McGovern about a girl with the ultimate case of FOMO—fear of what she’ll miss after she dies.

Everyone has a fear of missing out on something—a party, a basketball game, a hangout after school. But what if it’s life that you’ll be missing out on?

When Astrid learns that her cancer has returned, she hears about a radical technology called cryopreservation that may allow her to have her body frozen until a future time when—and if—a cure is available.

With her boyfriend, Mohit, and her best friend, Chloe, Astrid goes on a road trip in search of that possibility. To see if it’s real. To see if it’s worth it. For fear of missing out on everything.

Rules for 50/50 Chances: A Novel

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) |
Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.

With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.


How to Publish a Book

In this presentation, students will learn the inside truth about the road to publishing a novel. We’ll look at artifacts from the publishing process, like real notes from an editor and drafts of cover art, and participants will get to ask all their burning questions about how to become a published author.


The Art of Revision

Students will learn how much a book can evolve throughout the writing and revision process. We’ll look at early versions of some of Kate’s books and compare them to the published versions, and we’ll talk about how to crack different kinds of challenges in the writing process.


Telling Stories From Life

In this interactive workshop, students will learn how to use a real event or experience to inspire a story of their own. We’ll talk about some of the hidden real-life details in Kate’s books, and take a look at some examples of other stories inspired by real-life events. Participants will have the chance to write a short piece based on prompts related to real-life events.

Kate’s Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Junior Library Guild Selection
YABC Buzzworthy Book of Winter, 2019
Booklist Standout Contemporary Read
Starred Reviews, Welcome Back Maple Mehta-Cohen and Fear of Missing Out

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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